Belfast Telegraph

Reds in great nick for crunch games, insists Robertson

Hotting up: Andrew Robertson is confident Liverpool can handle the pressure in title run-in
Hotting up: Andrew Robertson is confident Liverpool can handle the pressure in title run-in

By Carl Markham

Defender Andrew Robertson expects Liverpool to be at "full throttle" when the Champions League restarts at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Jurgen Klopp's squad have spent four days at a training camp in Marbella this week but returned home yesterday to step up preparations for their last-16 first-leg tie against the Bundesliga champions.

A trip to arch-rivals Manchester United follows next Sunday and Robertson believes the break in Spain will have helped recharge the batteries to be able to attack both matches.

"Two massive games. When we landed in Marbella on Monday our full focus was on the Bayern Munich game," said the Scotland captain.

"We need to be full throttle for that game. They are such a good team and they have been the last six or seven years so we know what a tough task it will be.

"But we believe we can cause any team problems and we have to be at our best."

Liverpool have not lost a European match at Anfield since the 3-0 group stage defeat to Real Madrid in October 2014.

It is why having the home leg first is so important, and Robertson hopes fans can create another stirring night under the lights having been impressed by the atmosphere for last Saturday afternoon's 3-0 win over Bournemouth.

"I think that's what all good teams do," he said when asked if players responded to the crowd.

"We had a good run last season and especially in the Champions League I think it helped massively.

"Everyone knows how special nights here are in the Champions League. We feed off each other. Players feed off the fans and the fans feed off the players because it's up to us to get them to have something to shout about.

"But it also helps when they're getting behind us and it can maybe give you that extra percentage or whatever in the game.

"That's what home fans are for. Every club's got it and it's all about making the most of it."

Klopp believes the break in Marbella has been beneficial to his players ahead of the two crucial matches and also in relation to the title run-in.

"How we see it, this is our little preparation for the rest of the season. It's not only Bayern but of course it's Bayern as well," he said.

"After that we play against United, another strong side, and then game after game is coming up. That was the reason we are here.

"Here we control everything, which is nice. The boys like it as well - it's not that we do it for three weeks, it's four days.

"It's immediately a little push for all the things we have to do during the week. I like it a lot."

Klopp (below), meanwhile, has pinpointed the five attributes Liverpool will require if they are to end their long wait to be crowned champions.

Only goal difference separates leaders Manchester City from the Reds, who have a game in hand - at United tomorrow week.

With Tottenham Hotspur a further five points adrift, Klopp is anticipating a three-way scrap for the title with 12 games remaining.

"These three teams will fight for the title," he said.

"But it will be a team who plays the rest of the season with a lot of confidence, with an outstanding high work-rate, with a lot of passion, full of desire. Who plays really front-footed and tries to win, not tries to avoid losing.

"We will fight for it with all we have."

Belfast Telegraph


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